The Episcopal Church

“Lex orandi, lex credendi ,” said a former Archbishop of Canterbury, “the Law of Prayer is the Law of Belief.” That is to say, the manner in which we pray shapes our belief and understanding about God, the world, and human relationships. How we pray is of crucial importance, and this conviction is expressed in the Anglican Tradition by our commitment to worship according to the Book of Common Prayer, with all things done with great care and attention and a desire to offer ourselves to God in the beauty of holiness. This means we follow a structured pattern in the service, using hallowed prayers of ancient origin, fully involving clergy and congregation together in the liturgy , which means, in Greek, “the work of the people.” The panoply of the five senses are evoked through sacred space, colorful vestments, the Word proclaimed, swelling music, and, occasionally, fragrant incense. We bring all that we are, and all that it means to be human, before God in prayer through time-tested forms of the Divine Office.

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The Holy Eucharist is the core of Anglican worship (called elsewhere, The Mass, Holy Communion, the Divine Liturgy). We celebrate an early Sunday service at 8AM in our Chapel, and a 10AM service in our Main Church . The service is printed in its entirety in our bulletin for the 10AM service so that those unfamiliar with our forms can follow along with great ease and comfort. All Christians are invited to receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion.

Occasions for Worship are not limited to Sunday morning. The Prayer Book contains daily offices for Morning Prayer, Noonday Prayer, Evening Prayer and Compline, and also daily devotions for individuals and families. These services, particularly Evensong, are periodically offered in the Church or Chapel. Holy Eucharist, the Stations of the Cross and other opportunities for special devotion are offered throughout Lent, on important Feast Days, and at other appropriate times. You may also stop in for personal devotions. Light a candle, kneel and pray!

The Book of Common Prayer was originally compiled by Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer to simplify the Latin services of the medieval Church and to produce an English prayer book suitable for priest and people. The first version appeared in 1550, with revisions in 1552, and 1559. The warm cadences of Elizabethan English found in the 1559 Book of Common Prayer are familiar to many, and have deeply influenced the development of the English language.

The first American Book of Common Prayer appeared in 1789, owing a debt not only to the English prayer book, but also to the high Scottish Book of Common Prayer. The American prayer book has seen three revisions, the first in 1892, the second in 1928, and the most recent in 1979.